Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. ~ Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)
Various TV channels broadcast several popular programs featuring “fixer-uppers”—outdated, often dilapidated homes, being beautifully transformed. Today’s passage describes another kind of “fixer-upper”—the physical bodies of all believers in our Savior from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the earth’s last day, Jesus is coming again. For believers, his powerful acts that day will include “transforming our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
The Bible declares: “Man is destined to die once, and after that face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Physical death is separation. Your soul, the essence of who you are, separates from your body and is judged immediately, heaven or hell. That verdict will be made public at the Last Day, when all people will appear before the heavenly Judge.
So, at physical death each soul vacates the “house” that is his or her body and goes immediately to eternal life or eternal condemnation. To the penitent criminal on the nearby cross Jesus said: “Today you (your soul) will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The unbelieving criminal would not! All bodies remain here on earth; “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”… until… the Last Day.
That’s Resurrection Day! The bodies of believers in Christ will be raised from the dead by his infinite power as a “house” perfectly “fixed-up” for reunion with the souls returning from heaven. Whether afflicted with a defect from conception, ravaged by disease, disfigured by accident or warfare, or just worn by age, the believer’s body will be perfectly restored, “like his glorious body.” Justly, the bodies of those who rejected Jesus are raised “to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).
What if Jesus comes today?! You haven’t died yet. You and all believers still living will be “changed…in the twinkling of an eye” into glorious bodies made “imperishable,” just like the resurrected believers’ bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-54). And then it’s on to the glories of eternity with the Lord.
Obviously, Resurrection Day will not be glorious for the unbelieving. That is a stark reality, but God truly “wants all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). That’s why he sent Jesus. God’s Son is “the atoning sacrifice…for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
Share the Good News: Salvation of soul and body is won for all by Jesus! Trust in Jesus, and look forward confidently.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. ~ Revelation 22:20 (NIV)